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Military hospitals

I kinda had the choice of whether or not to go on or off base for my OB care and delivery. We decided to go on base because it is extremely close to our house (literally like 5 min away) and because if I go into labor while hubby is at work he can go straight there and not have to worry about changing and stuff.

Now I'm questioning my choice. I want to have an all natural labor, I don't wanna be induced, no pain meds, no c-sections (unless no *** EMERGENCY), nothing. What have you guys experienced (or your friends/family) with their flexibility on things? From other posts I've seen, most end up getting induced and/or having a c-section.

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Re: Military hospitals

  • It really depends on the hospital and more on your doctor than anything else. There are plenty of civilian doctors and hospitals who love interventional medicine. FWIW, when I delivered DS I had a choice too and the MTF actually had a much lower c-section rate than the civilian hospital. I ended up choosing the civilian hospital anyway because the only road to the MTF was often closed in the snow and DS was born in February, but the MTF seemed to have a better track record, at least on sections.

    Ask your doctor what his/her section rate is, and how many of his/her patients go all-natural. That will be a lot more telling than whether they are mil or civ.  

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  • Ok. Well I'm giving birth at Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital and when I went to make my decision, I didn't really do any research. How exactly do I find that kind of info?

    I've talked to my doc about going natural and she has been all about it. She has recommended like 5+ things I can do to help me with the pain, for example bringing my ipod/ipod dock because music can help a lot. And that was just in a 5 min convo we had about it at my appt. I'm more worried about her not being at my delivery I guess and not having her support with it.

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  • Here's a link to stats for local hospitals:

    https://www.inbloombirthservices.com/localresources.html

    I'm trying to find something more official, but this looks fairly reliable. You can just Google "(name of hospital) c-section rates" and you'l get a lot of info. Concrete stats on natural birth are harder to find because there is no standard definition of natural birth. Some define natural as vaginal, some as med-free, etc... But the section and VBAC rates are a good place to start. It sounds like your doctor is supportive, so hopefully that will be helpful.  

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  • We just had a lady in my office give birth on LeJeune at the Naval hospital and she had a good experience.  Vaginal delivery with meds.  She said the care was great.  I opted for out in town because it it closer to me and I like my OB/GYN and did not want to change that.  I will be having a RCS.  I think it mainly depends on the doctor you end up with when you deliver. 
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  • I think it's going to depend on your specific hospital.  At mine, it's the luck of the draw depending on when you go into labor.  I can be delivered by a midwife if I deliver on a Tuesday or Thursday morning, but not any time other than that.  Also, the doctor delivering me will not be one of the doctors I see in the OB clinic downstairs.  
    m/c @ 6 weeks - March 2013 
    m/c @ 5 weeks - April 2013 
    m/c @ 7 weeks - December 2013, D & C 12/27/2013 
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  • My problem with the military hospital is that you NEVER know who you are going to get.

    My first experience with Portsmouth was when I had a miscarriage. I can't tell you how hard it was to re-hash my entire history 2942343 times to different residents and doctors and surgeons.  I had complications after my D&C and I swear to goodness I wanted to STRANGLE people because it was like being a broken record.  I longed for just one or two people to be caring for me so that they would know my history and be done with it.

    I moved before I got pregnant again and delivered my two babies at a civilian hospital.  My OB was the only one who saw me my entire pregnancies and she did her own call and was there for the deliveries.  I didn't have to re-hash my history every appointment, I could get in touch with her EASILY, I knew I would see HER, and I felt very safe and cared for.

    My MAJOR issue with miltiary medicine in general is the lack of consistancy.  I think it is inconvenient, but I also think it is dangerous.  Doctors are rotating through hospitals all the time.  The pass-off isn't always great because of how busy they are.  My kids are seen at Portsmouth Peds right now and we have NEVER seen the same doctor twice.  I rarely see them with their charts when we go in for appointments.  I am very assertive and organized so I make sure things are getting done correctly, but it is an accident waiting to happen.  (and I'm sure accidents have happened).

    I would never deliver a baby at a military hospital.  I'm sure there are some great OBs and nurses but I just cannot deal with the lack of consistantcy and care.  I want my doctor to get to know me.  Not just see 34 faces at every appointment and cross my fingers I don't have a random newbie delivering me. 

    As for your birth plan, I don't think a military hospital is going to be too much different than an average civilian hospital.  You might want to look into hospitals with birth centers (where they cater to women who want to go naturally).  That would probably be your best bet.  I love Tricare Standard and think it is absolutely worth the extra money to get the birth experience you desire.

    Married 6/28/03

    Kate ~ 7/3/09 *** Connor ~ 11/11/10

    4 miscarriages: 2007, 2009, 2013, 2014

    *~*~*~*~*

    No more TTC for us. We are done, and at peace, as a family of 4.

    "Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” — Charles Dickens

     

  • imageanastasiacarmen:

    Im at Fort Lewis (JBLM) and our hospital is amazing.  They are open to all birth plans and even do water births... They have an OB, family medicine doctor, and midwife on call 24/7 if you go into labor you will see someone from your elected department (I did family medicine) and once admitted they call in your actual doctor you'vee seen the whole time.  They will only admit you if you are in active labor and currently making progress... once you arrive they check you and make you walk around then check you again if you make any progress you get admitted.  Once admitted they dont care how long you are in labor or how long you are pushing.  I needed an episiotomy and I told my doctor many times before hand I did not want one and the nurse was like doc she needs one and he said she doesn't want it... I tore and I could feel I was about to so why torture me by cutting it.  

    I ended up having a forceps assisted birth bc of physical limitations.  My pelvic bone opening was to small for me to push my little guy through.  But before they did that they explained everything to me and even called in 4 other doctors for their opinions.  I was told any future births with a baby his size or bigger would NEED to be c sections (and my guy was only 6 lbs 8 oz).  And he was STUCK I assure you I needed the forceps.

     

    Thanks for this info.  I am just 6 weeks along in my 1st pregnancy and I'm here at Lewis.  I was hoping someone would give info.

    Married since 3/20/2010 Expecting Baby #1 on 6/9/2012
  • I delivered at a military hospital, but I didn't really have an option since we are living overseas.  I will say that you need to be assertive in informing everyone of your birth plan.  Let everyone know; doctors, nurses, and your husband, that you want to have a completely natural, med free birth.  The only reason they should intervene in that plan is if you need an emergency c-section.  At the hospital here most doctors are very accepting of the birth plan as long as you layout your intentions for delivery.  You might want to consider hiring a duola for the birth.  The duola will know your desired birth plan and be your advocate with the doctors. 
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  • imagescheti01:
    I delivered at a military hospital, but I didn't really have an option since we are living overseas.  I will say that you need to be assertive in informing everyone of your birth plan.  Let everyone know; doctors, nurses, and your husband, that you want to have a completely natural, med free birth.  The only reason they should intervene in that plan is if you need an emergency c-section.  At the hospital here most doctors are very accepting of the birth plan as long as you layout your intentions for delivery.  You might want to consider hiring a duola for the birth.  The duola will know your desired birth plan and be your advocate with the doctors

     Wish we could, but we can't afford it :(

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  • I would definitely make sure to do some research, but I delivered DS at the Naval Hospital on Camp Pendleton, and I loved it. I saw the same midwife all through my pregnancy aside from one or two visits when she was on call or a same-day appt. I didn't LOVE her and made sure to request someone else this time around (and I DO love my new OB, who I will see for all appts), but she didn't even deliver my son, so it wasn't a big deal.

    I was put on pitocin, but my water broke and I was making NO progress, so I made that decision after talking to DH/nurses/on call dr. Most of the nurses I saw in LD were amazing and they were on board with whatever I wanted in terms of meds/no meds. I am happily going to deliver at the same hospital this time around.

    The biggest thing you can do in a MTF is be sure to advocate for yourself and have your husband completely on board with your wishes. Know the policies, etc. I think another PP was right when they said that a MTF doesn't always = C/S or other interventions. You might find that the local hospital actually has a higher rate than your MTF. Just know what YOU want. Make sure your dr, DH, nurses, on call dr know what you want and stick to it as much as possible. But remember to be flexible because you honestly will never be able to know what will or won't happen when you're actually in that room getting ready to deliver. KWIM?

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  • The only thing I have to say is to educate yourself.  No matter what hospital you choose you need to be an advocate for yourself and in order to do that you need to do your due diligence in learning about childbirth and all that is involved.  You need to figure out what interventions you would allow and when.  Remember that you do not have to agree to anything that you do not want.  Don't let staff (OBs or nurses) railroad you into a decision you are not comfortable with through fear mongering tactics.  Ask why.  Ask why they want to give you pitocin when you've only been laboring for 12 hours, ask why you have to be on continuous fetal monitoring, ask why they want to break your water, ask why, ask why, ask why.  Seriously.  Sometimes it's just "because" and not always due to a problem.  Take in the information when presented and then ask to have a moment to consider your options with your husband.  Rarely is it a "oh my god you have to make the decision right this second or you and your baby will perish" even though the doctors and nurses might make it seem that way. 

    Good luck!

  • I gave birth to DS at a military hospital. The minute my IV was inserted, they gave me Demerol. I didn't even know that I was being given something until I felt the burning. When I asked why my arm was burning, they said, "It is from the pain meds." I wanted the epidural, but I didn't want IV meds. I wasn't asked, nor was I told that they were going to give me something. They just did it. That was the least of my complaints with my delivery there.
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  • I had DD at a military hospital. I did have all my OB care through one hospital and gave birth at another. But it was because BAMC was going through a remodel at that time. So I went to Wilford Hall for delievery. It was my choice though they asked if I would want to go to Wilford Hall for my OB appointments. I didnt want to make the drive so I didnt. I loved my Dr and BAMC. She was awesome. She always made me laugh and make me feel comfortable. During delievery I had an awesome nursing staff. I told them I wanted to go natural and they gave me lots of tools to help me. The one nurse kept calling me a super hero, and when I cried because I couldnt do it anymore and got and epi she made me feel better about it. Then I had a midwife for the actual delievery. I did have about 5 students in my room as well, but by that time there could have been marching band in there and i wouldnt have noticed haha. The only complant I had was with the post partum experience, DD wouldnt pee and no one would listen to us at first. Then I finally threatend DH to go get someone or I would, and an amaing nurse came and made me feel better. So anyways the moral to the story is every experience is different, if you have your baby and a military or civilian hospital you have to do your research and do what is best for your baby.
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  • Ds1 was born at a civilian hospital, ds2 at a military. I didn't see much difference. Just open your mouth and make your wishes known. They will accommodate you as much as medically possible.
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  • I gave birth at an overseas military hospital.  I wanted painkillers/ epi everything.  I found the doctors to accomodate what I wanted.  They gave suggestions but everything was my choice.  I woudln't worry about them pushing you to do something you don't want to do....but remember that you can't pick your labor so be prepared for anything.
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